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Lando Norris: McLaren driver has 'open invitation' to join Red Bull in future claims Alex Albon

Alex Albon says Lando Norris has an open invitation to join Red Bull and become Max Verstappen's team-mate; Albon and Norris are good friends away from the track; watch the Qatar GP Sprint Race at 6.30pm on Saturday, when Verstappen could become champion

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Craig Slater looks at the chances of Lando Norris leaving McLaren and how much it would cost a team to buy him

Lando Norris has an "open invitation" to join Red Bull from McLaren, according to fellow Formula 1 driver Alex Albon.

Norris, who has discussed being team-mates with Max Verstappen, has previously been linked to Red Bull before McLaren moved up the pecking order during this season.

The British driver's contract expires at the end of 2025 after he signed a new deal in February 2022 but he appears to have an option to join Red Bull, Albon has exclusively told Sky Italy.

"I think if he wants it, yes. But let's see, because I think no one enjoys to be Max's team-mates. It's hard - I have experience with that," said Albon.

"But if he's confident in himself, which he should be - from what I hear, the invitation has been open for a while.

"It's hard to say now, because just like I have with Williams, you can tell the relationship Lando has with McLaren is very strong, and for now it looks like there's no reason to change."

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner admits 'big talent' Lando Norris is one of a number of drivers they are keeping 'an eye on'

Norris is yet to win a race since making his F1 debut in 2019 but has scored 10 podiums and took pole position at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix.

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He joined the sport alongside George Russell and Albon as the trio came up through the feeder series ranks together.

Russell took his maiden win last year at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, while Albon is yet to come close to victory.

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes Mercedes are plotting their fightback after a few years of being unable to compete for World Championships

Asked who would be likely to win a championship in F1 first, Albon answered: "I'm very interested in McLaren and Lando because I think the progress they've made recently is good. More than anything, it's really a team and car thing.

"For example, if Red Bull are the top team to beat, then unfortunately we're going to see Max up at the front most of the time. I think George is clearly the new Mercedes young boy, and I don't know how long Lewis [Hamilton] wants to keep going, but as soon as he gives the car keys over, it will be George."

Sky F1's live Qatar Grand Prix schedule

Friday October 6

  • 5pm: Qatar GP Qualifying build-up
  • 6pm: Qatar GP Qualifying
  • 8pm: Ted's Qualifying Notebook

Saturday October 7

  • 1.30pm: Sprint Shootout build-up
  • 2pm: Sprint Shootout
  • 5.30pm: Sprint build-up
  • 6.30pm: SPRINT
  • 8pm: Ted's Sprint Notebook

Sunday October 8

  • 4.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Qatar GP build-up
  • 8pm: Chequered Flag: Qatar GP reaction
  • 9pm: Ted's Notebook

Will Max Verstappen wrap up his third world championship at the first attempt at the Qatar GP? Watch every session of the Sprint weekend live on Sky Sports F1. Stream F1 and more with NOW for £21 a month for six months

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